Sunday, June 22, 2008

Daily highlight #32: A little naughty, but a lot nice - Ice cream stand: Morelli's Ice cream

So the season of ice cream eating has began and my habit of scooping the stuff for breakfast has returned with a vengeance to show that it's not a single year phenomenon. During the weekend, even lunch is not safe, especially when there is a new venue to try.

I was surprised to find only two exotic flavors on Morelli's menu, having heard so much about how this place tries to do things differently. I decided on the coconut jalapeno immediately, seeing that it's the more exotic flavor of the two. For my other flavor, I went with my standard-setting pistachio. Besides my unquestioned love for the nut itself, I also find that this flavor tends to serve as a good measure for general ice cream quality. Right off the bat, the color would tell me if the place uses artificial enhancements such as coloring to achieve an unnaturally crazy green. The nut content would tell me if the joint skimps on expensive ingredients. Finally, the depth of the pistachio's subtle nut flavor would indicate whether the ice cream maker understands the allure of his ingredients and knows how to best coax it into the foreground in his ice cream.

As you can see here, the pistachio is of a pleasant pale green. What you can't see are the large chunks of nuts, which tasted rather fresh. The flavor is quiet, but lingering, like eating pulverized pistachio in cream (shocking in how close it comes to sounding like a literally take on pistachio ice cream).

The exotic coconut with jalapeno announced itself as the star right away. The jalapeno came through with the first bite and continued to tickle the throat for quite some time after the ice cream was all gone. The combination reminded me of an Asian dessert in which fresh coconut flesh floats in its own milk with some chili flecks thrown on top. In that part of the world, people have long understood the power spices have for adding excitement to sweetness. It was awesome to find a similar combination here. I only wish that the shredded coconut in the ice cream were replaced with the fresh variety, but at last this is not the tropics.

With the expanding yogurt domination in our city (I still don't understand the appeal), Morelli's brings back a bit of the honest full fat ice cream making with some new twists.

Morelli's Ice Cream
749 Moreland Ave. SE, Ste B-102
Atlanta, GA 30316

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